1969 - Dell Publishing
Every now and then I like to read a book that falls into the "literature" category. Normally, I gravitate towards very light, general fiction within the young adult sphere, but I recognize that there are good books out there that I might not immediately think to read. This is one of those books. People like to talk about how they had to read it for a class in high school or college and what they did or didn't get out of it.
It was creatively written in that it was a story within a story, kind of like Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. I thought that was interesting. And it kind of centers around the bombing of Dresden during WWII, which I will admit I don't know much about, but made for an interesting centerpiece. But other than that I didn't really like it. It was just weird. When the literary types rave about a book and say how it had deep meaning and all that, they lose me. Here's a direct quote from the back of the book: "Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know." What?! That sounds so pretentious and it means nothing to me.
It's a book about a guy who writes a book about a character who was a prisoner of war during WWII and managed to survive the bombing of Dresden and who gets "unstuck" in time so keeps popping in and out of different periods of his life, which include a number of years when he was abducted by aliens and placed in the "human" exhibit in their zoo. Again...WTF? If the description of the book was ever actually clearly stated anywhere I wonder how many people would actually read it.